Before incurring expenses under s. 292.11
or 292.31 (1)
with respect to a property, the department shall provide to the current owner of the property and to any mortgagees of record a notice containing all of the following:
A statement that the property owner could be liable for the expenses incurred by the department.
A statement that the department could file a lien against the property to recover the expenses incurred by the department.
An explanation of whom to contact in the department to discuss the matter.
The department shall provide notice under par. (a)
by certified mail, return receipt requested, to the property owner and to each mortgagee of record at the addresses listed on the recorded documents. If the property owner is unknown or if a mailed notice is returned undelivered, the department shall provide the notice by publication thereof as a class 3 notice under ch. 985
The failure to provide the notice or include information required under this subsection does not impair the department's ability to file a lien or to seek to establish the property owner's liability for the expenses incurred by the department.
No notice under this subsection is necessary in circumstances in which entry onto the property without prior notice is authorized under s. 292.11 (8)
Any expenditures made by the department under s. 292.11
or 292.31 (1)
shall constitute a lien upon the property for which expenses are incurred if the department files the lien with the register of deeds in the county in which the property is located. A lien under this section shall be superior to all other liens that are or have been filed against the property, except that if the property is residential property, as defined in s. 895.52 (1) (i)
, the lien may not affect any valid prior lien on that residential property.
Before filing a lien under sub. (3)
, the department shall give the owner of the property for which the expenses are incurred a notice of its intent to file the lien, as provided in this subsection.
The notice required under par. (a)
shall provide all of the following:
A brief description of the property to be affected by the lien.
A statement of the expenses incurred by the department.
The department shall serve the notice required in par. (a)
on the property owner at least 60 days before filing the lien. The notice shall be provided by certified mail, return receipt requested, to the property owner and to each mortgagee of record at the addresses listed on the recorded documents. If the property owner is unknown or if a mailed notice is returned undelivered, the department shall provide the notice by publication thereof as a class 3 notice under ch. 985
In the foreclosure of any lien filed under this subsection, ch. 846
shall control as far as applicable unless otherwise provided in this subsection. All persons who may be liable for the expenses incurred by the department may be joined as defendants. The judgment shall adjudge the amount due the department, and shall direct that the property, or so much of the property as is necessary, be sold to satisfy the judgment, and that the proceeds be brought into court with the report of sale to abide the order of the court. If the sum realized at the sale is insufficient after paying the costs of the action and the costs of making the sale, the court shall determine the liability of the defendants for the remaining unreimbursed expenses and costs.
This subsection does not apply if the lien is filed after the department obtains a judgment against the property owner and the lien is for the amount of the judgment.
History: 1995 a. 227
; 1997 a. 27
The department may issue orders to effectuate the purposes of ss. 292.31
and enforce the same by all appropriate administrative and judicial proceedings.
History: 1995 a. 227
Fees related to enforcement actions.
The department may assess and collect fees from a person who is subject to an order or other enforcement action for a violation of s. 292.11
to cover the costs incurred by the department to review the planning and implementation of any environmental investigation or environmental cleanup that the person is required to conduct. The department shall promulgate rules for the assessment and collection of fees under this section. Fees collected under this section shall be credited to the appropriation account under s. 20.370 (4) (dh)
History: 2003 a. 33
; 2017 a. 59
Review of alleged violations; environmental repair and cost recovery.
Any 6 or more citizens or any municipality may petition for a review of an alleged violation of s. 292.31
or any rule promulgated or special order, plan approval, license or any term or condition of a license issued under those sections in the following manner:
They shall submit to the department a petition identifying the alleged violator and setting forth in detail the reasons for believing a violation occurred. The petition shall state the name and address of a person within the state authorized to receive service of answer and other papers in behalf of the petitioners and the name and address of a person authorized to appear at a hearing in behalf of the petitioners.
Upon receipt of a petition under this section, the department may:
Conduct a hearing in the matter within 60 days of receipt of the petition. A hearing under this paragraph shall be a contested case under ch. 227
. Within 60 days after the close of the hearing, the department shall either:
Serve written notice specifying the law or rule alleged to be violated, containing findings of fact, conclusions of law and an order, which shall be subject to review under ch. 227
If the department determines that a petition was filed maliciously or in bad faith, it shall issue a finding to that effect, and the person complained against is entitled to recover expenses on the hearing in a civil action.
History: 1995 a. 227
Violations and enforcement; environmental repair and cost recovery. 292.98(1)(a)(a)
If the department has reason to believe that a violation of s. 292.31
or any rule promulgated or special order, plan approval, or any term or condition of a license issued under those sections occurred, it may:
Cause written notice to be served upon the alleged violator. The notice shall specify the law or rule alleged to be violated, and contain the findings of fact on which the charge of violation is based, and may include an order that necessary corrective action be taken within a reasonable time. This order shall become effective unless, no later than 30 days after the date the notice and order are served, the person named in the notice and order requests in writing a hearing before the department. Upon such request, the department shall after due notice hold a hearing. Instead of an order, the department may require that the alleged violator appear before the department for a hearing at a time and place specified in the notice and answer the charges complained of; or
If after such hearing the department finds that a violation has occurred, it shall affirm or modify its order previously issued, or issue an appropriate order for the prevention, abatement or control of the problems involved or for the taking of other corrective action as may be appropriate. If the department finds that no violation has occurred, it shall rescind its order. Any order issued as part of a notice or after hearing may prescribe one or more dates by which necessary action shall be taken in preventing, abating or controlling the violation.
History: 1995 a. 227
Except as provided under sub. (1m)
and s. 292.63 (10)
, any person who violates this chapter or any rule promulgated or any plan approval, license or special order issued under this chapter shall forfeit not less than $10 nor more than $5,000 for each violation. Each day of continued violation is a separate offense. While an order is suspended, stayed or enjoined, this penalty does not accrue.
Any person who violates s. 292.65 (12m)
shall forfeit not less than $10 nor more than $10,000.
In addition to the penalties provided under subs. (1)
, the court may award the department of justice the reasonable and necessary expenses of the investigation and prosecution of the violation, including attorney fees. The department of justice shall deposit in the state treasury for deposit into the general fund all moneys that the court awards to the department or the state under this subsection. The costs of investigation and the expenses of prosecution, including attorney fees, shall be credited to the appropriation account under s. 20.455 (1) (gh)